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ASHLEY HAYEK And LEYICET GOKEY: States Need To Step Up And Protect Kids From The Left’s Gender Lunacy

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Why are government leaders insistent on allowing minor children to undergo permanent, life-altering medical procedures?

This question would’ve seemed incomprehensible in mainstream discussion just a few years ago. But it needs to be asked today as many seem unable to answer. In Tennessee, we’ve seen this far too often, as they defend so-called “gender-affirming care” and merely label questioners and opponents as “transphobic.” (RELATED: DEROY MURDOCK: Here Are Some Shining Examples Of Pure Dem Insanity)

Last year it was exposed at Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University Medical Center that these surgeries bring in “huge money” for the hospital, sparking outrage from concerned citizens, many including donors who had no idea this was happening to minor children.

Since then, research and revelations have proven the intense, harmful procedures on children are taking place in states across the country, with limited research on the long-term effects of transgender interventions on children and little evidence of mental health benefits. Further, many of the puberty blockers given to children prescribed are off-label (unapproved) and can have dangerous side effects, including lowered bone density, stunted growth and permanent infertility.

Thankfully, legislators in the Volunteer State and Gov. Bill Lee ignored the critics and just passed a bill to protect children from such procedures. They seemed to grasp what many on the far left cannot — a permanent choice has no redo.

So why force such a significant, life-altering decision on a child? Why does an adolescent have to make changes to their bodies that can never be undone? More importantly, what if a child later changes their mind?

A recent report by the America First Policy Institute identified that despite proponents of the treatment of minors as a way to improve mental health, “a 40-year cohort study from Sweden on transsexual individuals undergoing sex-reassignment surgery — one of the most comprehensive long-term studies available — found that high suicide risk persisted after surgical procedures at a rate 19.1 times higher than the general population.”

The recent news out of Missouri, Tennessee’s neighboring state, should be eye-opening. Based on a horrific whistleblower report, a transgender clinic out of a St. Louis children’s hospital shows how adults working there rushed to “treat” many kids, permanently changing their lives.

One of the most striking lines from the whistleblower’s report was this: “Many encounters with patients emphasized to me how little these young people understood the profound impacts changing gender would have on their bodies and minds.”

What child fully comprehends the impacts of their decisions? Unfortunately, this story is a clear example of adults in power looking to push an agenda instead of advocating for a child’s best interest. And unfortunately, it’s not an isolated incidence. It’s happening across America.

We must protect kids now. As a society, we have taken measures to ensure minors are safe until adulthood. That’s why we don’t allow children to get tattoos, for example. Nor do we let them drink, smoke, or even drive a car.

Americans have long understood that the mind of a child is constantly developing. We let kids be kids. We allow them to grow into the adults they will be. We don’t let them do anything that can cause harm to themselves or alter their lives for good.

But that’s apparently changed for many on the Left. Instead, as we have seen in Tennessee and Missouri, there’s an entire industry built around sexualizing and permanently changing children for profit.

States can be a haven for children, free from deranged adults who prey on their innocence for cultural wokeness, like Tennessee, Utah, South Dakota, and many others. Georgia, Florida, Texas, and more have an opportunity to advance legislation that saves children now and puts America on the right side of history.

Our children are our future. The only rush should be to protect theirs.

Ashley Hayek is the Executive Director of America First Works, the advocacy arm of the America First Policy Institute. She is also the mother of 5 children.

Leyicet Gokey is a Tennessee business leader, mother, and wife of Nashville Recording Artist Danny Gokey.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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